GFF appoints COVID-19 Task Force to prepare for safe resumption of football

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The Guyana Football Federation (GFF) has appointed a diverse COVID-19 Task Force to oversee all preparations for the safe and responsible return of football activities in the coming months, following a request to the Government of Guyana’s National COVID-19 Task Force to resume training and competition as conditions allow.

The Task Force, which met for the first time virtually on November 17, will manage all areas of the GFF’s “Bounceback” plans, including all health and medical factors, legal matters, coordination with the National COVID-19 Task Force and communication and collaboration with GFF members and all football stakeholders.

“The GFF is taking every action necessary to bring football back in the safest way possible, once we get the green light from the authorities,” said GFF President Wayne Forde.

“This is likely to be a gradual return to action in order to manage the risks as we roll out the robust and pragmatic plan we have developed in our partnership with UEFA.”

“The key to a successful resumption of football will be making sure we remain flexible, respect the guidelines at all times while guaranteeing that all stakeholders are engaged and consulted, so that we can all get back to the game we love as soon as possible. For now, it is important to remind our community that football is not currently allowed under the current restrictions – we urge all of our peers to respect the rules and protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Wayne Forde- President of the Guyana Football Federation

The “Bounceback” programme is a UEFA initiative that the GFF, as part of its ongoing partnership with European football’s governing body, is participating in so as to ensure a safe resumption of football.

Under the programme, Guyana is the second nation in the Concacaf region to join forces with experts from the European Football Administration to prepare for the return of football.

“The UEFA Assist Team has been very impressed with the quality and attention to detail shown by the Guyana Football Federation in developing the “Bounceback” action plan,” said Eva Pasquier, Head of International Relations at UEFA.

“This has been evident right from the top of the organisation and the President, Wayne Forde, has fully supported the initiative, participating fully in all sessions and inspiring his leadership team to be creative in their approach.”

“I would like to congratulate the “Bounceback” manager, Ian Greenwood, in particular for an excellent piece of work preparing for the resumption of football on the pitch and looking at how to connect with all football players, coaches, referees and volunteers.”

The 17-member Task Force, which will meet weekly for an initial period of one month, is made up of a wide range of stakeholders from across the football ecosystem. This is to ensure that all voices are heard and included in decision-making during this crucial process.

Concacaf Senior Projects Manager Howard McIntosh, who has also been involved in the process, said: “COVID-19 has changed the world and football is no exception. It is critical that all member associations and national teams establish a framework for operation in a COVID-19 world. We salute the GFF’s efforts in this regard.

“The GFF has continued to implement best practices in football leading to many of its successes on and off the field. It has sought out and participated in numerous programmes to improve as an association, using this downtime efficiently and effectively as it plans to return to play. This makes the GFF a model in many ways. This type of drive to succeed must be heralded and emulated.” (GFF)

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